Posted on Jun, 11 2020 by Rennu Dhillon
Due to the Covid-19 many parents are now working from home, having to juggle between their own virtual business calls and managing the schedules for their children. One of the most difficult age groups to manage is what I call the magical 5-year old “five-teens”.
They are out of preschool but now quite elementary, hence are juggling with trying to find their own identity. Can you imagine being that age when you do not want anyone to call you a baby, and yet you are still not the big kid? When they turn 5, this is a critical time for them, where most of them are filled with energy and trying to discover their own new independence. This is also a time when they learn how to answer back, use the word NO more often and test their parent’s patience the best they can. I call this the “five-teens” age. That’s right parents, we go from the Terrible Two’s to the Five-teens and then the Tweens and Teens. Parenting is a never-ending journey. Believe it or not but using Positive Communication (rather than the word Discipline) you can hopefully make this adventure a little less tiresome.
Most parents will fall into the trap of spending the entire day telling their 5 year old to listen “because you said they have to”, and this as we well know results in more “oppositional behavior”. It is the easiest thing to say to kids, “do this because I told you so”. Just like adults, we need to use diplomatic reverse psychology with our five-teens. Some parents will end up simply giving up and letting their five-teen do whatever they want. That is not the extreme solution either. So, what is?
Here are some ideas, and I am not saying they are guaranteed to work, but they are probably better that being too firm or too lenient.
Young children need a sense of belonging. Many kids will defy and oppose directions giving to them because they seek attention, so you need to find out the reason for this rather than impose authority. Do you have a new baby at home, have either of the parents been too busy and ignored the child, have their been any issues at home? the list is endless so look into the reasons why a child could be acting up.
Remember punishments do not always work but taking away privileges for a short period of time are more effective. Kids are kids and we have to remember our own childhood before we try the “dictatorship” parenting style.
Kids have feelings and as parents we need to be sensitive to these feelings that many of them struggle to express in words so revert to “giving lip” and tantrums.
There are no “overnight fixes”! Parenting is a journey through an ocean of high and low tides, and sometimes tsunamis. However, steering the boat in the right direction through the storms makes the adventure a little less stressful.